Thursday 20th November – Friday 21st November
‘Path of Philosophy’ walking tour, east Kyoto
Kyoto is absolutely packed with beautiful and historic Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. As well as being beautiful themselves, many of their gardens are a big draw in November for their autumnal colour, so it was difficult to know where to start.
Fortunately our guidebook included a range of ideas for self-guided walking tours, so we decided to kick things off on Thursday with a walk around the east of the city.
[photos, from the top: walking through Konchi-in temple grounds; the crane and turtle garden, Konchi-in; walking into Nanzen-ji temple; visitors burning incense (osenko) at Nanzen-ji; leaves and roof at Nanzen-ji temple; walking along the Path of Philosophy (Tetsugaku-no-michi); Hoshokan Gate at Ginkaku-ji; view of Ginkaku-ji (the ‘Silver Pavilion’)]
We finished the day off at Ippudo, and possibly the best bowl of ramen (noodle soup) I’ve ever had – delicious!
Kinkakuji Temple, West Kyoto
On Friday we decided to focus on seeing the Kinkakuji Temple (otherwise known as the ‘Golden Pavilion’) which is located on the other side of town. The temple itself is eye-poppingly beautiful.
We then headed back into the city centre for some time in the lovely shopping arcades.
Friday was our last evening in Kyoto, so we took ourselves to the Gion District and Southern Higashiyama, with beautiful streets, plenty of places for eating and entertainment and even a nighttime view of the Yasaka Shrine.
We went to a soba restaurant called Omen Kodai-ji (it seems very common that a restaurant will focus on doing just one type of food and doing it well!). We again needed some instruction when the meal arrived in a variety of bowls and plates, but we soon got the hang of it (dip the noodles and other accompaniments in the broth little by little, slurp the noodles a lot!).
Advert of the day
Spotted outside a shopping mall near our hotel. We’re not sure if this poster is some kind of a translation mistake, or if the advertisers are already predicting a difficult Christmas….